A wonderful stretch for the arms, shoulders, spine and legs.
Increases power throughout the body, relieves weariness and invigorates, improving the immune system, digestion and blood circulation, and my favourite: it uplifts the mind.
Downward dog pose is perhaps the most utilised pose in the yoga tradition. It is in the sun salutations, vinyasa and several other classical and contemporary yoga sequences for everyone from beginners to the well-experienced practitioner.
When performing Downward dog pose, press the centre of your palms into your mat, this will engage both sides of each hand, and take a little pressure off your wrists. Apply enough strength to the centre of the palms so that your forearms and upper arms feel longer and stronger.
Point your feet straight forward, keeping them shoulder width apart. Press your heels toward the mat to start a warm up stretch for the legs. As the muscles ease into the stretch, take it a little deeper; keep pressing your heels downward and at the same time, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Remember to keep the arms engaged as you apply more power toward the centre of the palms.
Place your ears between the biceps. With a pivoting action at the head, pull your throat sensitively back toward your neck and reach with the top of the head to the space between the two hands. This will lengthen your spine further.
On the inhale ease up slightly and on a lengthy exhale reach to your maximum. You could take it even further by pressing the centre of the under arms toward your toes. Do this only if your body is feeling strong in the pose.
There are so many different layers to this pose and multiple subtle variations to be discovered in your own practice. A pose positively worth experimenting with, with full attention. It is so easily accessible, and one of the best ways to remove accumulated stress throughout your body so that you can stay on top of your game by performing at your best.